I extracted the following from a news release published today about a new potential vaccine therapy for advanced prostate cancer. My reason for republishing it is not for the informational value, but is to share my feelings about the sorry state of prostate cancer treatment.
Please read the press release and then my comments that follow.
Bavarian Nordic Announces Positive Mature Phase II Results From Newly Acquired Prostate Cancer Vaccine
KVISTGÃ?â?¦RD, Denmark, October 7, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ — – 125 Patient, Prospective Randomized Placebo-Controlled Phase II Study Shows Statistically Significant Improved Overall Survival
Bavarian Nordic has now evaluated the mature phase II data from the therapeutic prostate cancer vaccine candidate PROSTVAC(TM) that had been obtained as part of the recently entered partnership with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the US.
The results from the Phase II prospective randomized placebo-controlled study of 125 patients with advanced prostate cancer after 4 years of follow-up show that patients receiving PROSTVAC(TM) had a statistically significantly longer median overall survival by 8.5 months (p=0.015) compared to the control group. Currently the only approved treatment for advanced prostate cancer extends median overall survival by an average of approximately 2 months. In addition, PROSTVAC(TM) also had a favourable safety and tolerability profile.
Based on these promising results, Bavarian Nordic expects to initiate confirmatory Phase III studies for PROSTVAC(TM) together with NCI in the first half of 2010 that will form the basis of approval for this therapy.
So, isn’t this great news? In two years we might have a new phase III trial (which can take another ten years to be completed and which may or may not be positive) for a treatment that might extend our life for another 8 months. I do not know about you, but this makes me very angry.
Good news, yes it is progress, but almost everyone of us today with advanced prostate cancer will most likely be dead.
Joel T Nowak MA, MSW